A medical technologist/medical laboratory scientist is an important member of the health care team. While the career involves limited patient contact, the practice of modern medicine would be impossible without the tests and procedures performed in the clinical laboratory by the medical laboratory scientist. These tests and procedures may range from analysis of blood factors necessary for safe blood transfusions to the culture of various specimens to identify microorganisms causing disease and the determination of the antibiotics most effective against these organisms. Quantitation of various chemical and cellular substances in the blood and other body fluids are routinely performed as well as many other analyses that help determine the presence, extent, or absence of disease. The data provided to the physician helps to monitor the course of the disease state and the effectiveness of the treatment.
This work requires an array of complex instruments and a variety of automated and electronic equipment, such as microscopes, electronic counters, and automated analyzers. It takes both extensive and intensive training to develop the combination of talents and skills needed to effectively operate the instrumentation and perform the test procedures.
Medical laboratory scientists must have a sound background in the physical and biological sciences in order to understand the scientific theory behind the procedures they perform. This will enable them to assess the validity of test results and recognize problems requiring additional testing or rechecking. Basic to a successful career in the medical laboratory is an interest in science, a desire to help others, an ability to cooperate, and the capacity to do accurate and reliable work under sometimes stressful conditions.
The medical laboratory scientist performs a full range of laboratory tests, from the most routine to the most complex. With additional education and experience, the technologist may advance to roles in management and supervision, education, or research. Positions utilizing medical technological skills are located in the pharmaceutical industry, biological reagents production, medical equipment and reagent sales industry, physicians’ clinics and offices, private and government hospitals and the Armed Services.
The Mission of the School of MT/MLS, in keeping with the mission, values and vision of Mercy Hospital Ada, is to provide the professional component of the MT/ MLS program in order to prepare qualified laboratory professionals to serve Pontotoc County and the surrounding areas. The program strives to: